I'm late. Arizona State played yesterday in the first bowl game of the year involving a Pac-12 team and I didn't make my picks. Whoops.
Between the day job, the second job, and trying to finish the third draft of my novel, things get forgotten. What can I say? Gotta prioritize.
After correctly choosing Oregon to win the inaugural Pac-12 title I'm 64-27 on the season heading into the bowl season, one that looks very, very rough for the conference.
For what it's worth, I would have picked Boise State to blow the Sun Devils out, so I'll take a W. After firing Dennis Erickson - well, actually before firing him - that team was a mess. A 6-6 mess of a team matching up with the #7 team in the nation and one of the best in recent history? My cat predicted the blowout.
This is also the first loss of a Pac-12 bowl team that left them with record below .500 on the season.
On to the rest of the bowl games (rankings in parentheses - AP, USA Today):
California v. Texas
12/28/11, 5pm, ESPN
Cal has been up and down all year, as has Texas. Texas has more talent.
The pick: TEXAS
Washington v. Baylor (15, 16)
12/29/11, 6pm, ESPN
Washington couldn't control the better teams of the Pac-12, how can they expect to do any better against Heisman winner Robert Griffin III?
The pick: BAYLOR
Utah v. Georgia Tech (30t, 29)
12/30/11, 11am, CBS
Utah got better as the season progressed, they should stand tall here.
The pick: UTAH
UCLA v. Illinois
Fight Hunger Bowl
12/31/11, 12:30pm, ESPN
UCLA does not deserve a bowl game, period. They will be 6-8 when this over.
The pick: ILLINOIS
Oregon (6, 5) v. Wisconsin (9, 8)
1/2/12, 2pm, ESPN
The Ducks need a win in a bowl game badly and should match up well with Wisconsin. I figure the Ducks defense will stop the Wisconsin offense more than vice versa.
The pick: OREGON
Stanford (4, 4) v. Oklahoma State (3, 3)
1/2/12, 5pm, ESPN
Stanford is a tough team and Andrew Luck is a great leader, but the defense will not be able to handle the high scoring Cowboys. Remember what Oregon did to them? OK State will do the same
The pick: OKLAHOMA STATE
Projecting a 2-5 record hurts, but can you really disagree? The only one I'm even on the fence about is the Cal pick, just because you have no idea what they will do in any given week. Rough, rough matchups for the conference. If USC had been bowl eligible then everyone would have moved down a notch and the matchups would look a little better, but they'd still be tough.